John Wood
British Bakeries has revealed full details of a nationwide restructuring programme, first hinted at in The Grocer (June 29), to realign manufacturing capacity and distribution.
The company is implementing a regional distribution strategy, with new regional distribution centres to enable it to satisfy multiple retailers' requirements for around the clock supply.
Distribution director Jim Steven said: "We are repositioning our baking and delivery businesses to meet the changing challenges of the retailers. "
The company is constrained from expanding distribution capacity at its 16 established sites because they are situated in built-up areas. However, the decision to move distribution to RDCs has freed up space in existing bakeries for investment in new equipment. Said Steven: "The overall benefit for retailers is that we can offer a greater degree of flexibility. Specifically, investment in new and larger plants offers even better quality and a regional distribution strategy means we can offer a much more consistent service that can be continuously quality assessed and improved upon."
A plant opened in Forest Gate in August and a further new bread plant opens at Glasgow next month. The Erith bakery in Kent has gained planning permission for additional plant.
Manufacturing at Crawley and at Eastleigh will cease shortly. Ayr's two plants have relocated to Glasgow, resulting in the closure of Ayr next year.
RDCs opened in Dagenham, Essex in April and Mossend, Scotland, in August. Possible RDCs are being looked at in the Midlands, north and the south coast.

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